Archive for May, 2009

Home Staging Your Yard

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

I think it’s finally safe to say that spring has sprung in Rochester. The budding trees and warmer weather have brought everybody outside including home buyers. Now is the time to pay as close attention to the impression the outside of your house makes. Your efforts will make a difference! Here are a few suggestions:

1. Be certain your house can be clearly seen from every direction of the yard. If there are bushes or trees blocking windows trim them back.

2. Have your curtains/blinds all uniform in color from the outside.

3. Wash your windows.

4. Place decorative lights in your windows.

5. Power washes your house if it has siding and definitely your deck.

6. Schedule your driveway to be sealed.

7. Put a fresh coat of paint on your front door.

8. Add a new layer of mulch and edge your yaed.

9. Plant uniform annual flowers. Plant twice as many as you would normally so they appear plusher earlier in the season.

10. If you have a front porch highlight it with a pair of chairs to sit on.

11. An American flag always looks simple and beautiful. All other decorative flags should be avoided.

12. Remove lawn ornaments.

13. Replace your mailbox if it is not in mint condition.

14. Make sure your house number is clearly visible.

15. Park in your garage and keep the door down whenever possible. Your house will appear bigger.

16. Have a simple new front door mat.

17. As long as it is safe, add new light bulbs with a brighter wattage to your porch lights.

18. Keep your lawn mowed neatly at all times.

19. Scrub your patio set before putting it up.

20. Treat your yard as if it is another room to your home and keep it picked up at all times.

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony April 2, 2009 for “The Gardens”

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

April 2nd marked the groundbreaking ceremony for “The Gardens”, a unique and exciting community for active adults 62 years and older. Located in the community of Gananda, its peaceful 1,500 acres include a nature pond surrounded by a glacial hill, golf course, and picturesque farmland. You will enjoy the white tail deer, rabbits, turkeys and nature’s symphonic sounds that abound. Among the crisp air, you’ll find a beautiful community garden, greenhouse, and walking paths.

All apartments will be approximately 677 square feet and include a large living room/dining area, a modern kitchen and a spacious bedroom, along with a large bathroom, extra storage area, and a patio or balcony for some well-deserved R & R. For those that have a green thumb, a personal garden plot will be offered.

Overcome boredom as you meet new friends or nurture existing friendships with the many ways you’ll have to spice up your social life. Visit the Community Center that will offer card rooms and a fitness center or attend one of the many activities including several outings that will be planned.

Home Leasing Corporation owned by Nelson Leenhouts’ family is the builder and manager. Deborah Leenhouts, Nelson’s daughter would like to tell you all about it. Her goal is to help each resident live life’s golden years to their fullest. Call her today at 585-764-3535.  

Real Estate Agents Lead Recovery

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Real Estate Agents are a silent force that fights for freedom.  Real Estate Agents are the most independent working people on earth with more opportunity to earn an exceptional income despite limited formal education or professional background.  (Please do not confuse formal education with intelligence.  Mark Twain’s expression is wholly embraced by many of the most successful Real Estate Agents, “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”)

The ranks of Real Estate Agents are filling with more and more young people who are smart, educated, and committed to a successful career in Real Estate.  The first generations of Real Estate Agents that left or graduated from college to sell Real Estate are transforming the profession.  It is tempting to think that it is their comfort and embracing of technology that is their strength.  That is only one equal part.  As strong as their facility with technology is, their commitment to the business as a career decision and their continuously seeking better business practices.

The youth and their commitment are not the strongest force leading the economic recovery.  The experienced professionals who have succeeded through recessions in the 90’s, the 80’s, and even the 70’s (still some of them around), these veterans of previous difficult markets realize that the downturn is temporary and on the other side is a strong, healthy market. 

In August of 2008 an article of mine (We’ve Hit Bottom… Hooray!) was widely published in which I wrote, “In the hardest hit markets that experienced the greatest price declines … may take another twelve months for enough of the excess inventory to be absorbed for those markets to experience growing appreciation.  On the other hand a rapidly growing number of buyers are coming back into the market anticipating that the bottom may have arrived.  These buyers are getting great values while they are absorbing the inventory.  These buyers are actually creating the future value increases that they perceive. 

Let’s be realistic.  Things don’t turn completely around in one year.  We are not going to immediately, see the kind of demand and seller’s market that create double-digit appreciation this year (2008).  We will see the end of price depreciation and mild growing appreciation in market after market.

As one market after another recovers there will be increasing appreciation.  In your market sometime between 2009 and 2011 you will see another seller’s market.  In the hotter markets you will again see double-digit appreciation.”

The above article was written before the foreclosure bombshell and the banking crisis.  It is amazing to me that despite the tremendous numbers of foreclosures, the Ponzi scheme victims, and the extent of the banking crises have not delayed the residential Real Estate recovery.  The time frame prediction of the above August 2008 article is still on track. 

It is obvious that residential Real Estate leads the economy. Bad residential lending took this economy down. It is the active Real Estate market this spring in most markets that will bring it back.

You will hear the stimulus package and all kinds of other reasons for the end of the recession. That is political spin.  Notice that the health of the residential Real Estate market precedes and leads the recovery.

How can that be?  Because each time a house sells, tens of thousands of dollars go directly into the local marketplace for both closing costs and home improvement.  The fact that this happens in every community across the country makes it obvious that residential Real Estate has the strongest and most immediate influence on the economy.

Thank goodness that the NAR lobby was strong enough to get the residential benefits of the stimulus package to the Real Estate market immediately. 

Young and old, rookies and the most experienced, you as Real Estate Agents are doing more for recovery by honestly and optimistically matching Sellers and Buyers; and making this a strong spring for yourselves.  It is pretty cool, (a reflection of my age) that you can do something so good for you and your family and it is the best possible thing you could do for the recovery, the economy and the country. 

Rich Levin is a National Real Estate Authority with over 30 years experience; the last 15 dedicated to coaching and speaking.  His specialty is in raising Agent Production while improving quality of life.  He has spoken in 38 States at events from small offices to the NAR convention. Join our Success Community to receive more articles, tips and information. Contact us at 585-244-2700 or visit  

REALTORS® Charitable Foundation Announces Grant Awards

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

The REALTORS® Charitable Foundation (RCF), the philanthropic arm of the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®, recently announced its First Quarter grant awards totaling more than $12,500 to local non-profit organizations.  The foundation supports non-profit agencies that address critical housing needs and help to create sustainable neighborhoods.

The Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network, Inc. received $5,000 for its Emergency Homeless Fund, which provides money for clients’ emergency needs, such as food, medicine, and clothing and home setup.

The Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation was awarded $5,000 for its Emergency Home Repair Program, which provides grants to low-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities for critical home repairs.   Pathstone, formerly known as Rural Opportunities, received $2,500, for a project to beautify the North Union Street Gateway neighborhood to the historical Public Market.

“This is a good example of how REALTORS® are giving back,” said Cindy B-Rosato, an area REALTOR® and chair of the RCF Board of Directors.  “As real estate professionals, we recognize that a vital aspect of doing business is taking responsibility for helping to preserve and enhance the quality of life in our community,” she continued.   “It’s a role that we take very seriously.”

In addition to providing funds for area programs, REALTORS® have participated in various volunteer projects, such as  Clean Sweep Days and neighborhood improvement projects with NeighborWorks Rochester for the Healthy Blocks Initiative in the North Winton Village Neighborhood.

Since its inception in 2001, the RCF has awarded more than $400,000 in grants to 33 local non-profit agencies.  It receives its support from the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®, proceeds from its annual golf classic held in July, individual donations from area REALTORS®, and various other fundraising activities conducted throughout the year.